CFB on Saturday afternoon and we will see the Arkansas State Red Wolves take on the Memphis Tigers. The start time is 4:30 pm Eastern) and the game will be televised on ESPN3. Current Odds have Arkansas State listed as 3.5 point favorites, while the total sits at 54.5.
Analysis: Arkansas State takes a 2-1 record with it to Memphis, after its 41-34 win over SBC rival Troy last Thursday. The Red Wolves have split their non- conference games, defeating UAPB in the season opener before losing to the Auburn Tigers 2 weeks ago. Bryan Harsin is picking up where former coaches Hugh Freeze (2011) and Gus Malzahn (2012) left off rolling up 544.3 yards per game (15th nationally), including 295.7 (ninth) on the ground. Arkansas State has a very capable signal caller running its offense in Adam Kennedy, who ended his first SBC game with 20 completions on 34 pass attempts for a season-high 282 yards and his second TD pass of the year. Kennedy has hit on 66.7 percent of his passes for 703 yards with no interceptions. Allen Muse has been a big-play machine with 178 yards and a score on just eight catches. David Oku is the team's primary ball carrier and leading rusher with 246 yards and four TDs on 53 attempts. Arkansas State has digressed defensively each week this season. It allowed 614 yards of total offense including 504 through the air and five touchdowns to the Trojans last time out. Junior linebacker Qushaun Lee has a team-leading 26 tackles and has two forced fumbles, while senior nose tackle Ryan Carrethers (team-best 2.5 sacks) and sophomore defensive end Chris Stone each have four tackles for loss.
Memphis is still searching for its inaugural win of the campaign after falling in consecutive games to Duke (28-14) and Middle Tennessee (17-15) to kick off the 2013 slate. In the loss to MTSU, Memphis managed to out-gain MT, 350-284, in its last appearance. However, the Tigers hurt themselves as they were flagged for 15 penalties for 145 yards. That penalty yardage was the second-most in program history and just two yards shy of the school mark set in 1964.Paxton Lynch hit on 19-of-27 pass attempts for 170 yards and his first career touchdown pass, but was sacked on BB plays to end the game. Senior running back Brandon Hayes is the feature back in this offense with 120 yards on 30 carries through two games. The Tigers' defense has held it’s own, allowing 377 yards of total offense and 22.5 points per game compared to its allowance of 383.6 yards and 30.3 points per contest in 2012. Martin Ifedi has registered 4.5 TFL and three sacks, while Anthony Brown's 17 total stops paces the team. Memphis owns a 28-24-5 all-time series lead despite losing four of the last five meetings, including the Red Wolves' 33-28 victory last season in Jonesboro.
Pick: I like the Red Wolves in this game. Their offense is unstoppable right now and I don’t see the Memphis defense being able to hold them down. The Memphis offense hasn’t been that great this year and they have struggled with penalties and mental mistakes that have hurt them on both sides of the ball. The tigers are 1-5 ATS at home vs a winning team and 0-4-1 ATS in the 1st of BB home games. Look for the Red Wolves offense to steal the show here as they move to 3-1 on the year, while dropping Memphis to 0-3.
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